Pacific Partnership 2007
Indian Navy Paediatrician Helps Pacific Partnership
[USS Peleliu Public Affairs, 01 August 2007]
By Seaman Matthew Jackson, Mass Communication Specialist, US Navy
Ten service members from India's military joined USS Peleliu (LHA 5) to augment the capabilities of the ship's medical team during Pacific Partnership, a four-month humanitarian assistance mission throughout Southeast Asia and Oceania. The Indian Pacific Partnership contingent is comprised of two veterinarians, four medical personnel and four engineering personnel. Each member is tasked with providing services for community outreach programs in their areas of expertise. Lieutenant Commander Ashok Bhandari, a pediatrician, has joined the robust medical team of USS Peleliu to provide much needed care to the children of host nations. "The U.S. Navy contacted the Indian Navy to discuss our partnership for this mission and we joined Peleliu Pacific Partnership on June 18 in Manila, Philippines," said Lieutenant Commander Bhandari. He is accompanied by three fellow medical professionals from India and their focus during Pacific Partnership is to provide health care at medical civil-assistance programs (MEDCAPs).
"I [mainly] see the pediatric population, up to 16 years-old, but I also see the general population," Lieutenant Commander Bhandari said. The medical services provided by him, help put people on the road to recovery. "I give primary care to patients, screen them for more care if needed and I also make recommendations to their host nation doctors to follow through with treatment," he said. According to Lieutenant Commander Bhandari, every day spent caring and helping those in need of relief strengthens the partnership between the U.S. and host nations. "We're in a global world now and we can't separate from each other. Ultimate happiness, to me, is in taking care of others, giving them compassion and love. This humanitarian mission is one aspect of that and the things we're doing for people gives happiness to us," he said. Pacific Partnership has been an eye-opening experience that has affected many people aboard USS Peleliu, according to Lieutenant Commander Bhandari. "This is my first experience both working with the U.S. and on a humanitarian mission. When I came to this ship I saw that people are the same all around the world, they want to do good things, so it's very nice to be a part of this deployment."
Images Courtesy - United States Navy
Please click here to view additional images of Pacific Partnership 2007.